Donald shows resilience with eagles to share early lead

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The Independent Online

Luke Donald bounced straight back from his Wentworth wobble yesterday to claim a share of the first-round lead in the Madrid Masters.

Five days after taking seven on the penultimate hole of the BMW PGA Championship and losing by a shot, Donald fired a seven-under-par 65 at Real Sociedad to end the day alongside Welsh pair Rhys Davies and Jamie Donaldson.

And as if to hit back at last week's headlines calling him "Plod" – his brother started that – Donald made two superb eagles. "I can't remember the last time I had two in a round. I don't think I've had one on the PGA Tour all year," he said. He almost holed his 275-yard approach on the monster 653-yard ninth, then hit another rescue club 253 yards to seven feet on the 16th.

Donaldson was a team-mate of Donald in the world amateur team championship 10 years ago, but he has played 200 European Tour events since then and has yet to taste success. Davies, on the other hand, is in his rookie season and has already won in Morocco. Both enjoyed seven birdies.